Changes to Golden Visa Laws – Comaskey Properties

An article by Ian Comaskey

It looks like the Spanish Golden Visa as we predicted was a bit of a shocker for the politicians who first introduced it over a year and a half ago.

We visited Beijing in anticipation of the influx of Chinese people moving here with 500,000 euro or more to invest in exchange for this right to live in Spain.

From the very first time we spoke to the Spanish embassy in China and the Chinese embassy here in Spain, we knew that this was surrounded in very unnecessary red tape and foreign investors would not like that. It was so difficult to explain the process to our Chinese and Russian friends, when neither us, nor more importantly the embassy completely understood the rules. We did achieve a few Golden visas for our buyers but it was a struggle.

The banks did not want to help as they were afraid of the tight money laundering laws and in fact made it look like they did not want money transferred from China. The Chinese clients we brought to Spain simply did not feel welcome here. Compare this to the success of Golden Visas schemes in France in even more so in The United Kingdom where high net worth non Europeans are buying up large amounts of property there.

Spain can claim that the Golden visa scheme was designed with all non Europeans in mind but the reality was this scheme was set up to attract Chinese Renminbi.

So the new improvements to the Golden Visa scheme in Spain include the following:

– An extension to the family permitted within the Visa; common law partners plus children over 18, economic dependants, parents and parents in law are now covered
– a 6 month visa is available on the strength of a deposit paid to registered estate agents and funds for property purchase in Spanish bank. Just check with us before paying money on this point.
– there is no longer any need to visit Spain to renew the visa, and applicants don’t have to renew every two years, now only very five years. Again, great improvement.
– There isn´t a need to get an investor visa from abroad first; it can be requested from Spain. This caused us hours of headache in the past.

– Residency permit will include the right of applicants to work in Spain, not just live here. This is massive. We’ve had US citizens looking to relocate their location independent tech businesses to Spain, now they can.
– Investors are not forced to leave Spain during process of requesting or renewing the Golden Visa.
(Thanks and credit to the FT for their article on improvements to the Golden Visa laws)
Interestingly, although the minimum investment has officially got to be 500,000 euro we know of non Europeans who bought apartments here on the Costa Blanca, investing considerable less yet still attained their visa. Perhaps the Spanish government needed to get their numbers up? They had less than 600 applications for the scheme so maybe they were happy to accept any level of investment?
Well, we expect these changes to help for sure. If you need more specific information, please get in touch.

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